Farm & Ranch - May 2020

MAY 2020




MAY 2020

Respiratory protection still important for Ag amid pandemic Agencies team together to offer tips for farmer/rancher safety

» Store respirator in a clean, dry place be- tween uses. » Conduct seal checks each time you put on or adjust the respirator. (CS-CASH seal check video: watch?vU8Inww-1avg). » Do not attempt to clean the respira- tor with disinfectants, wipes, soap and water, or an air compressor. » Avoid putting on, taking off or adjusting the mask with contami- nated hands. Wash your hands before and after adjusting or removal. » Discontinue use and throw away when it is splashed on, becomes dirty, becomes difficult to breathe, or when a seal cannot be obtained. If using a reusable respirator such as a

half-facepiece, full-fa- cepiece or powered air purifying respirator, the following recom- mendations should be observed: » Clean and san- itize the respirator after each use. This type of respirator can be shared only if it is cleaned and sanitized properly. » Store respirator in a clean, dry place be- tween uses. » Avoid putting on, taking off or adjusting the mask with contami- nated hands. Wash your hands before and after adjusting or removing. » Change P100 fil- ters after eight hours or 30 days, whichever comes first. If there is a shortage, continue to wear the P100 filter un-

til it becomes dirty or difficult to breathe com- fortably. » Change cartridg- es according to the manufacturer’s recom- mendations. If there is a shortage, change the cartridge when you can smell or taste what you are protecting yourself against. » To prolong the life of the cartridge, add pre-filters to cartridges that don’t have built-in pre-filters. » Check and replace valves and head cra- dle as needed to ensure the respirator is in good working order. A guide for choosing agricultural respira- tory protection can be found at: unmc. edu/publichealth/cs- cash/_documents/

outreach_resp_selec- tion_guide_jun14.pdf Cloth face coverings are not an acceptable replacement for a res- pirator at preventing exposure to respiratory hazards in the agricul- tural workplace. They should only be used as a means of infection con- trol. In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public setting where other social distanc- ing measures are difficult to maintain (grocery stores, farm supply stores, ma- chinery dealerships), especially in areas of

Telegraph staff reports Protecting lungs from risks such as chemi- cals and dust is critical to keeping agricultural producers healthy. Despite current shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers and agricul- tural workers still need respiratory protec- tion for many tasks. The Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health, in partnership with the Ag Health and Safety Alliance and the High

Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety have developed recommen- dations for conserving respiratory inventory while supplies are lim- ited. Reuse of two-strap disposable respirators is not recommended practice, but in a time of limited availability, it may need to be con- sidered. This type of respirator should only be reused within the fol- lowing guidelines: » A disposable respi- rator can be worn more than once, but it cannot be shared with another person.

Please see SAFE, Page F3




MAY 2020

Extension launches online exchange of carbon sources Telegraph staff reports LINCOLN — Nebraska Extension is calling on mu- nicipalities, lawn care companies, farmers and oth- have, where they are located and whether they can as-

sist with loading or delivery. Producers in need can create an account to view and con- nect with suppliers of carbon sources. “It’s a very simple tool, but critically important,” said Ashley Mueller, Nebraska Extension disaster educator. “We all remember the out- pouring of hay donations to help Nebraska farmers af- fected by the 2019 floods feed their livestock. Producers this year are facing a new set of challenges, and we hope that Nebraskans will once again step up and lend a helping hand.” Additional resources for swine producers affected by COVID-19 are available at swine, including infor- mation about financial assistance for impacted producers. Additionally, Nebraska Extension has compiled resources for fami- lies, individuals, businesses, and producers at disaster. 19-resources.

ers to donate or sell wood chips, hay, lawn waste and other carbon sources to live- stock producers hit hard by COVID-19. Livestock producers — particularly swine pro- ducers — are being faced with having to euthanize an- imals as meat processing plants have reduced or tem- porarily halted processing of livestock due to COVID-19. Composting is one of sever- al ways that producers can dispose of animal carcasses, but most don’t have access to the large amounts of carbon, such as mulch, hay, manure or lawn waste, needed to safely perform composting of large volumes of carcass- es. Extension specialists Dr. Benny Mote and Dr. Amy Schmidt worked with University of Nebraska- Lincoln web developers to launch disastercare.unl. edu, a site that allows mu-

Photo courtesy of Nebraska Extension Nebraska Extension is launching an online platform to help producers — especially swine producers — find the carbon resources they need during the pandemic.

nate carbon sources can visit, create an account, and fill out a simple form in which they provide information on the type of carbon they can provide, how much they

be in, both financially and emotionally,” said Mote. “Helping connect producers with a carbon source gives them one less thing to wor- ry about.” Those who wish sell or do-

nicipalities, businesses, or individuals with carbon ma- terials to list their available products, and for producers to search for needed materials. “This is an extremely dif- ficult spot for producers to

SAFE from Page F2

reduce reliance on personal protective equipment. Examples include: » Eliminate the pro- cess/task that creates hazardous dusts or gas- es. » Use an alternative pesticide product that requires less PPE or the PPE that you have available. » Ventilate and con- trol dust at its source to reduce exposure in con- fined spaces. » Hire an applicator or other contractor who has the required PPE. When applying pes- ticides, the label is still the law. You must wear the PPE required by the product labels. If the label required res-

pirator is not available, consider using a res- pirator that provides greater respiratory pro- tection. To find out more about best practices for

respiratory protection during the COVID-19 pandemic visit unmc. edu/publichealth/cs- cash/_documents/ COVID-19-Respirator- Reuse.pdf.

significant communi- ty-based transmission. This practice may help people who have the virus and not know it from spreading it to others, but it does not provide you with pro- tection from any other respiratory hazards or COVID-19. Follow CDC guidance for clean- ing and removing cloth face coverings: coronavirus/2019-ncov/ prevent-getting-sick/ diy-cloth-face-cover- ings.html Consider alternative controls that reduce exposure to respirato- ry hazards and thus




MAY 2020

USDA announces details of assistance in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Telegraph staff reports payment rate per head.

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lower demand, surplus produc- tion and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly market- ing of commodities. Farmers and ranchers will receive direct support, drawn from two possible funding sources. The first source of funding is $9.5 billion in appro- priated funding provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act to compensate farmers for losses due to price declines that occurred between mid-Janu- ary 2020, and mid-April 2020 and provides support for specialty crops for product that had been shipped from the farm between the same time period but sub- sequently spoiled due to loss of marketing channels. The sec- ond funding source uses the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to compensate pro- ducers for $6.5 billion in losses due to on-going market disrup- tions. Non-specialty crops and wool Non-specialty crops eligi- ble for CFAP payments include malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soy- beans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat. Wool is also el- igible. Producers will be paid based on inventory subject to price risk held as of January 15, 2020. A payment will be made based 50% of a producer’s 2019 total production or the 2019 in- ventory as of January 15, 2020, whichever is smaller, multiplied by the commodity’s applicable payment rates. Livestock Livestock eligible for CFAP in- clude cattle, lambs, yearlings and hogs. The total payment will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of live- stock sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14, 2020, multiplied by the

WASHINGTON — The federal government is set to provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to farmers and ranchers coping with the coro- navirus pandemic. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program this week in a press release. In addition to this direct sup- port to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distrib- utors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels and other food service en- tities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need. “America’s farming commu- nity is facing an unprecedented situation as our nation tack- les the coronavirus. President Trump has authorized USDA to ensure our patriotic farm- ers, ranchers, and producers are supported and we are mov- ing quickly to open applications to get payments out the door and into the pockets of farmers,” Perdue said. “These payments will help keep farmers afloat while market demand returns as our nation reopens and re- covers. America’s farmers are resilient and will get through this challenge just like they al- ways do with faith, hard work, and determination.” Beginning Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Farm Service Agency, will be accepting ap- plications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses. Background CFAP provides vital financial assistance to producers of agri- cultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-great- er price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of

Dairy For dairy, the total payment will be calculated based on a producer’s certification of milk production for the first quarter of calendar year 2020 multi- plied by a national price decline during the same quarter. The second part of the payment is based a national adjustment to each producer’s production in the first quarter. Specialty crops For eligible specialty crops, the total payment will be based on the volume of production sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020; the volume of produc- tion shipped, but unpaid; and the number of acres for which harvested production did not leave the farm or mature prod- uct destroyed or not harvested during that same time period, and which have not and will not be sold. Specialty crops include, but are not limited to, almonds, beans, broccoli, sweet corn, lem- ons, iceberg lettuce, spinach, squash, strawberries and toma- toes. A full list of eligible crops can be found on cfap. Additional crops may be deemed eligible at a later date. Eligibility There is a payment limita- tion of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities com- bined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies or limited partner- ships may qualify for additional payment limits where members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75% or more of their in- come is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related ac- tivities. Producers must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Please see USDA, Page F8

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MAY 2020

Extension Risk Management Education Center awards grants

visory council of peers from the north-central region who specialize in agricultural risk management. The proj- ect award period began April 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2021. “This funding will be used to develop and implement educational programming for agricultural producers addressing production, fi- nancial, legal, human and marketing risk,” said Brad Lubben, NCERMEC pro- gram director. In addition to these ERME grants, four projects were each awarded up to $3,000 to explore needs and develop plans for future programming. The North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center is funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and has been hosted by the University of Nebraska– Lincoln Department of

Telegraph staff reports LINCOLN — The North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center recently awarded over $650,000 in funding to 15 project directors from universities and non-prof- it organizations across the north-central region. These grants fund outreach that provides extension risk man- agement education programs for producers. For the 19th straight year, the Extension Risk Management Education pro- gram has awarded grants for projects that educate farmers and ranchers with tools and training they need to address the uncertainties in farm income and manage their risk. The goal is to strength- en the economic viability of farm enterprises. Funding decisions are made by an ad-

Agricultural Economics and Nebraska Extension since 2001. The North Central Center serves the 12-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The Center was funded by NIFA for the second year of its cur- rent three-year $3.3 million award to support these new- ly-awarded grants across the region. In addition to the North Central Center, ERME regional centers are located across the country at the University of Delaware (Northeast), the University of Arkansas (Southern) and Washington State University (Western). For more information and to see a full listing of fund- ing recipients and their projects go to

Photo courtesy of Nebraska Extension The North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center has awarded grants for educational programs to helps agriculture producers get the resources and training they need.

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MAY 2020




MAY 2020

Aggie drawn to raising, showing beef cattle

Goshen County. As an FFA student in Southeast High School at nearby Yoder, he was active in livestock judg- ing, ag mechanics, and then caught the bug for showing club calves. Through FFA, he was trained in beef cattle artificial insemina- tion and worked with a custom AI crew dur- ing breeding seasons. Keller also continued showing cattle, fit- ting and grooming, and learning the ropes of the cattle business throughout his high school career. Then he set his sights on college. “I knew that I want- ed to be involved in the cattle industry,” Keller said. “I checked around a lot and found that NCTA had what I want- ed the most for college.” On May 7, in a virtual, online com- mencement, he graduated magna cum laude (3.75-3.99 GPA) and was named salu- tatorian for the NCTA Aggies Class of 2020. He received an asso- ciate of applied science degree in livestock pro- duction plus the 1-year

certificate in irrigation technology. Next fall, if on-cam- pus classes proceed as currently planned by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Keller will pursue a bachelor’s degree by transferring in ani- mal science to the UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The CASNR program is a 4-year partner to NCTA’s 2-year campus. “Dalton is a bright young man,” said Doug Smith, Keller’s animal science professor and advisor the past three years. As an NCTA Aggie, Keller continued to travel to cattle prog- ress shows, including the National Western Stock Show in Denver in January. He also en- joys helping at bull and female sales and pro- cessing livestock for producers. During college, he was employed at Arrowhead Meadows Golf Course across the highway from NCTA. He also was seasonal

By MARY CRAWFORD NCTA News CURTIS — Dalton Keller is well versed in beef cattle and animal science so he decided that in his third year of college he would chart a different path. Keller added skills in irrigation technology, electricity, ag mechan- ics, welding and ag safety to his program at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. Why pursue the ir- rigation technician program? “I just wanted to have some knowledge about center pivots,” Keller explains. “How they are set up, how they work, and to have enough knowledge that when I started farming I want- ed to be able to repair one myself and not have to hire someone.” Keller’s family re- cently purchased a small farm south of Torrington, Wyoming, where Dalton raises a couple dozen cattle, al- falfa and grass-hay crops. Both of his parents work for the lo- cal school district in

Photo courtesy of NCTA Dalton Keller raises cattle and forage crops just west of the Nebraska- Wyoming state line. He graduated recently as salutatorian of the Class of 2020 at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. He intends to trans- fer to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall in animal science.

Please see BEEF, Page F10




MAY 2020

USDA accepting applications for higher blends grants

Government agency will accept submissions through Aug. 13

funds directly available to help transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities convert to high- er ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps, related equip- ment and infrastructure. Electronic applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Aug. 13. Paper applica- tions will not be accepted.

the positive impacts that affordable, abundant and clean-burning fuel provide to our country’s farmers and consumers. The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program will help rural communities build stronger economies and will give consumers more choices when they fill up at the pump.” USDA plans to make

competitive grants for ac- tivities designed to expand the sale and availability of ethanol and biodiesel fuels. “As the coronavi- rus response continues, America’s energy indepen- dence has proven critical to our economic security now more than ever,” Deputy Secretary Censky said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, we know

Telegraph staff reports WASHINGTON

an online portal to begin accepting applica- tions for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grants. USDA plans to make avail- able up to $100 million in

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched



Telegraph staff reports Nebraska planting continues ahead of previous years LINCOLN — Nebraska farm- ers’ planting progress continued to outpace last year and the five-

average is 78%. Fifty-four% of the 2020 crop has emerged com- pared with 22% last year and 39% on average. The 78% of soybeans plant- ed compares with 34% last year and 42% on average. The 29% emerged compares with 5% last year and 8% on average.

year average by the end of last week with 91% of corn plant- ed and 78% of soybeans in the ground, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. For corn, 63% had been plant- ed by this time last year and the

Service Directory USDA from Page F4


fice. Documentation to support the produc- er’s application and certification may be requested. FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of applica- tion and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 28. Payment structure To ensure the avail- ability of funding throughout the ap- plication period, producers will receive 80% of their maximum total payment upon approval of the appli- cation. The remaining portion of the pay- ment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date as funds remain avail-

for assistance begin- ning on May 26, 2020. Additional informa- tion and application forms can be found at Producers of all el- igible commodities will apply through their local FSA of-

Office status USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone ap- pointment only, and field work will contin- ue with appropriate social distancing. While program deliv- ery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be work- ing with producers by phone and using online tools when- ever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are re- quired to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More in- formation can be found at virus.


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Conservation provi- sions. Applying for assistance Producers can apply

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MAY 2020


becomes impaired or passes? Can Mom manage the finances? Does she know where the investments are? Does she even know who the agent or planner is? I’ve worked with many clients who lost husbands, these ladies are shocked to find out the following: She didn’t know that his pension plan would be eliminated upon his death. Some terminate upon the owner’s death, others pay a portion to the surviving spouse. You both need to know what you have. 2. She didn’t realize that of the 2 1. social security checks coming in-one would be eliminated upon his death. She’ll be able to keep the larger of the two but she has to make a choice. 3. Where are the assets such as the retirement accounts, IRA’s and what are they invested in. Are they in the stock market, bond market, are they at risk? If the stock market took another dive like in 2008 or more recently in 2020, could the investment lose 30% again? Is it in safe, protected diversified investments? 4. Who is the financial planner, who is the insurance agent, who does your taxes? 5. Is there a life insurance policy? If so, does the family know where it’s at? Across the country, over $1 billion dollars is unclaimed, mostly in life insurance policies that family members didn’t know about. Here are two examples of what could happen: Bob (age 65) and Marge (age 64) were finally retired. They had worked hard all their lives and felt that they were going to have a comfortable retirement. After all, Bob had $2000 from social security, and $1000 from his pension coming in monthly. Marge

took her social security early and brought in $600/month. They also had $200,000 in an IRA that was in a mixture of stocks and bonds. Bob had worked with the investment advisor. They were pulling out $400/month out of that investment. All combined, they had income of $4000 per month. That was comfortable… All was well until Bob died of a heart attack at age 67. Marge was shocked to discover that Bob’s pension was terminated at death, one social security check went away together resulting in a reduction of $1600 per month. She also found out that their IRAs were in stocks and bonds totally exposed to the stock market. That also took a dive resulting in a loss of $60,000 that year. She wasn’t happy with their investment advisor-she didn’t understand him and was embarrassed to ask him questions. They were comfortable with income coming in at $4000 per month before Bob died. Now she was left with $2400 per month-it was very tight. And what happens if she lives another 20-30 years? What happens if she takes more out of their investment accounts, what does that do to her taxes? Who does the taxes? Marge was in a pickle!

Marge to the appointment to ensure that Marge and the agent knew that at his death, he wanted to make sure that the policy paid out tax free and would be rolled into an annuity that would pay out for the rest of Marge’s life. This would replace the $1600 that would be eliminated at his death. He also introduced Marge to his investment advisor and accountant. She needed to become familiar with their assets and tax situation. He also realized that being totally exposed to the stock market would put their lifetime savings at risk so once he retired, he looked for more secure, protected assets a blend of CD’s, annuities, and some mutual fund accounts and he got Marge involved in selecting those assets. He even planned for their Long-Term Care buying a hybrid annuity/long term care policy so that if either one of them needed long term care, the policy would protect their remaining assets. In addition. Bob wrote everything down in a planner workbook and made his family aware of the location. He updated it every year at tax time. How much more comfortable is this scenario? As we go through this month of May, let’s protect the Moms in our family. Nobody wants to think about death but if we want to protect our loved ones, it’s a good time to think about…what happens if Dad dies before Mom? If you’d like a family planner worksheet or would like additional information on planning for the future, call Rebecca Nordquist with Phares Financial Services at 308-532-3180 or email

By Rebecca Nordquist, RD, MHA, CLTC

We just celebrated Mother’s Day, so it is a good time to do some planning for our Moms. In your retirement planning, have you thought about what happens to Mom if Dad dies first? Women usually live 5-7 years longer than men and usually the surviving spouse is financially worse off. Half of women who reach 65 will live beyond 85 so planning ahead is critical to ensure that the finances will last the 20+ years. Inflation is a factor. It has averaged 3% per year in the last 20 years which means that a comfortable $50,000 per year will require $90,000 per year in 20 years to ensure the same standard of living. Finally, if health issues start to decline, women are less likely to have someone able to take care of them because their spouse has already passed. So a major question is…if Dad goes first, does Mom know where the assets are? Many women leave the financial planning to the husband. That may work fine when Dad is alive and well but what happens if Dad

Here’s what can happen with some planning:

Before he retired, Bob had called his pension plan to find out what happens if he died before Marge and discovered that the pension terminated. He also knew that their social security income would be reduced to one check. He wanted to be sure to replace that income so he bought a $250,000 life insurance policy for $150/month. He brought


MAY 2020 F10



BEEF from Page F7

pastures and canyons of the Medicine Valley. Campus activities as an Aggie student were focused on his course- work. He was a member of Collegiate Cattlemen and Collegiate Farm Bureau.

The NCTA home

its NCTA professors for swiftly adjusting their teaching styles. He fin- ished his final eight weeks of classes online in Wyoming, about 250 miles away from cam- pus. “It (remote class- es) was a big change for me,” he admits. “I would go out and work all day on the farm, then come in at night and sit down before I went to bed and get to my assignments.” Fortunately, he says, he took a lighter load of 12 hours this semester, expecting to be trav- eling to more cattle

shows and away from campus on weekends in March and April. That all changed with COVID-19. “So I was happy to get done what I had done before this year,” he adds. For the first two years at NCTA, Keller says he took advantage of enrolling in every animal science or live- stock class that he could, including a com- prehensive capstone course required for livestock, equine and crops production ma- jors. In the capstone

course, students write a business plan after researching all facets of a ownership/pro- duction enterprise. Students also cov- er topics such as legal issues for business, land and animal own- ership. The course couples assignments in ag economics and production manage- ment, helpful for his family’s business mar- keting club calves as Keller Cattle. Keller had received an NCTA Dean’s Scholarship when he started as an Aggie in August 2017.


When the coronavi- rus pandemic caused colleges to switch to remote learning, the transition was a chal- lenge for hands-on activities. Keller cred-

help for an area ranch- er, sometimes working cattle but more of- ten helping control the invasive eastern red ce- dar trees growing in

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MAY 2020 F11



USDA makes pandemic loans available

Ag secretary says more than $1B available to rural businesses

tural producers, the changes allow USDA to: » Provide 90% guarantees on B&I CARES Act Program loans. » Set the application and guarantee fee at 2% of the loan. » Accept appraisals com- pleted within two years of the loan application date. » Not require discounting of collateral for working capi- tal loans. » Extend the maximum term for working capital loans to 10 years. B&I CARES Act Program loans must be used as work- ing capital to prevent, prepare for or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The loans may be used only to support rural businesses, including agricultural pro- ducers, that were in operation

on Feb. 15. USDA intends to consid- er applications in the order they are received. However, the Department may assign priority points to projects if the demand for funds exceeds availability. USDA announced the ex- panded B&I CARES Act Program authorities in a no- tice published in the May 21 Federal Register. Program funding expires Sept. 30, 2021. Eligible applicants may con- tact their local USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where the project is located. USDA is developing appli- cation guides for lenders and borrowers on the B&I CARES Act Program. The Agency also will host two webinars to provide an overview of pro- gram requirements.

To register for the we- binar at 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, visit globalmeet. jsp?ei1322642&tp_key- 7a700acddd. To register for the we- binar at 2 p.m. ET June 3, visit globalmeetwe- starthere.jsp?ei1324161&tp_ key6067315417. USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic op- portunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assis- tance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; com- munity facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit

Telegraph staff reports WASHINGTON—Up to $1 billion in loan guarantees will be available to rural busi- neses and ag producers from the United States Department of Agriculture. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a press releaes this week that the funds are being issued to help rural business- es meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, ag- ricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may re- ceive funding under USDA Business & Industry CARES

Act Program provisions in- cluded in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural businesses and agricultural producers and being a strong support- er of all aspects of the rural economy,” Perdue said. “Ensuring more rural ag- ricultural producers are able to gain access to much- needed capital in these unprecedented times is a cornerstone of that commit- ment.” In addition to expanding eligibility to certain agricul-


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